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Old 07-13-2014, 09:58 PM   #1
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Educate me on my toilet

I have a 73 Holiday Rambler Vacationer, mostly original and I'm trying to bring it back to liveable. The toilet doesn't hold water above the blade. The TT has only a black water tank. I need advice on the way forward.

The toilet is a Thetford AquaMagic Galaxy 30 - still has the label under the lid. I'd have no problem replacing it, both aesthetically and physically, though most of the TT is original. I'd prefer to replace the mechanism and seals but will replace the entire toilet if that is warranted. I just don't know if the parts are available, or what substitute parts would work, etc. I assume the toilet has to be removed to do all this. So in addition to the parts, I guess I'd need a toilet seal?

If I'm going to replace it, what is the best toilet that will drop right in? What other parts will I need? The toilet sits up on a pedestal, above the black water tank. So I assume I'd need a low profile toilet?

Any guidance or advice is welcome. I'm a fairly seasoned DIY'er, but basically new to RVs.
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Old 07-13-2014, 10:07 PM   #2
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Not sure what design you have but most have a rubber seal that seals the ball and holds water in the bowl.
I would step on the pedal and have a look for the rubber seal. If you do in fact have one, get a little Vaseline on you finger with your trusty rubber gloves and smear it around the seal.
I do this on mine once or twice a year especially if I don't use it for a while. The seal will dry out. Also, you may find some brownish Paper Stuff stuck to the seal.
Not trying to talk you out of replacing the John, but might save you a buck.....
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis45 View Post
Not sure what design you have but most have a rubber seal that seals the ball and holds water in the bowl. I would step on the pedal and have a look for the rubber seal. If you do in fact have one, get a little Vaseline on you finger with your trusty rubber gloves and smear it around the seal.
I think mine is a blade type (?) When I step on the pedal a flat round plate pulls back and I can see into the black water tank. It looks like there is a black seal above the blade/plate. How does a 'ball type' work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis45 View Post
I do this on mine once or twice a year especially if I don't use it for a while. The seal will dry out. Also, you may find some brownish Paper Stuff stuck to the seal.
I can probably get by without doing the toilet right away but knowledge is power. If the vaseline trick doesn't work, I'll move to step 2, whatever that is.

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Originally Posted by dennis45 View Post
Not trying to talk you out of replacing the John, but might save you a buck.....
I paid too much for the darn thing to begin with. I'm doing the work myself. Saving bucks is good. At the same time, ya gotta know when to fold 'em. I'm not out to do a period restoration on this, but I do like original. If I can make original work, good for me. If not, good for Camping World! Actually, CW makes money either way, so double good for them.
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Old 07-14-2014, 01:14 AM   #4
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Unless there is some vintage value to a 40 year old commode, I would replace the unit. They are fairly inexpensive. To simplify the replacement, get something new very close in measurements of your stock toilet. IMO you will be better off than throwing money/time at the old pot.
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Old 07-14-2014, 02:03 PM   #5
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Take a look at this for a replacement

http://www.thetford.com/Portals/0/PD...rt-Oct2012.pdf
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:02 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the info. I've been looking at the Thetford toilets thinking I'd go with a new one. The biggest issue in my mind is seat height. Right now my seat height is ~19". (ADA compliance is 17" min, 19" max.) My deck is around 9.5" and the toilet adds another 9". All the new Thetford low profile toilets clock in around 12-13 inches. So my total height would be around 22" or about a half foot taller than my home toilets and way above ADA. (It's a yardstick, not a concern per se.) I'm 6'4 and I'm thinking my legs might be swinging.

I've written Thetford giving them my serial number. I want to see when it was manufactured and if it can be rebuilt with the parts on their website.

If I end up going with the taller toilet I'll probably have to add a step, but it's a tiny bathroom. Your legs already swing in front of the door when seated. I'd be afraid any kind of step would be a trip hazard.
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micalk View Post
I have a 73 Holiday Rambler Vacationer, mostly original and I'm trying to bring it back to liveable. The toilet doesn't hold water above the blade. The TT has only a black water tank. I need advice on the way forward.

The toilet is a Thetford AquaMagic Galaxy 30 - still has the label under the lid.
I can't speak to a '73 model but I overhauled my '94 Thetford Aqua-Magic Galaxy/Starlight about six months ago with great success. The removal and cleaning is the worst part and that wasn't very bad. I purchased a Thetford "mechanism repair package" from Amazon for $30 and went to work. The full write up and pictures are here. It now holds water indefinitely (weeks, at least).

Good luck!!
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:42 AM   #8
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Typical for many/most major assemblies in about any RV, more info than you'll ever need is generally available by googling the model info. of the device you're interested in. In this case "Thetford AquaMagic Galaxy 30"

At first glance, it would appear all replacement parts are available, and speaking from experience, none are difficult to replace once the toilet has been removed and placed on the work bench.

That said, when in use, if the pedal is released previous to the bowl contents being completely emptied, that sliding knife blade can pack solids (like toilet paper) into it's track as it closes, eventually preventing it from closing completely. The cure is to bend a piece of clothes hanger wire into an "L" shape to create a tool that can be used to scrape/clean the knife blade track. Best of luck.
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:56 AM   #9
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All really good info. Thanks.

I tried the hanger thing, but found nothing. the seal appeared clear all the way around

Thetford's website claims that vaseline will deteriorate rubber. Both are petroleum products, so I wouldn't doubt it. They recommend silicone grease.

Thetford came back and said the Bravura is a direct replacement for the Galaxy. They didn't say anything about the height, just that it was a direct replacement. They also said that the manufacture date didn't matter, the replacement parts are good for all Galaxies.

It's not my first preference, but at this point I think I going to replace the whole thing with a parchment Bravura. I could do a complete seal replacement, but I may run into other parts I'm not able to replace or fabricate. The mechanism for the Galaxy is about $130 which would replace most everything but I can get a whole new toilet for $160 (after shipping and rebate). I like vintage, but I also think that if I get new I'll have less work in the long run with installing and maintaining. My only doubt is that the height is going to be different. I'll let you know.

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Old 07-18-2014, 08:23 AM   #10
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Here's the Bravura dimensions:
Aqua Magic Bravura
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:57 AM   #11
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I have an Dometic Traveler toilet that was not holding water when we first purchased. Followed ALL the suggestions from hot water to CLR, no workie.

Broke down & purchased a new seal via Amazon. A whopping $30 with shipping included.

All I needed was a flat bladed screwdriver and about 15 minutes. Holds water now! Old seal was just old/used/deformed.

RM
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Old 07-29-2014, 01:30 PM   #12
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Just for badness and with reference to the title of this thread.

Wouldn't educating in a classroom be more convenient. Ba dom dom
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:40 AM   #13
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Before you do anything rash, get some muriatic (dilute hydrochloric) acid and put just a little on top of the blade. If it foams and bubbles keep the plan going a while and try again. This may keep you from rebuilding and/or replacing the pot for quite a while. I had no trouble getting a kit to rebuild mine a could of years ago and it is the same number.

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Old 08-06-2014, 11:59 AM   #14
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Ours is close to yours, ours is the SL/SH series (1982 model) ours is also on top of a pedestal about 9 inches above the Blk Tank. I had the flush valve leaking problem. I took it off the floor (2 bolts) then removed it to the back yard with hose and a spray bottle of Bleach White and sprayed the whole toilet outside and inside and rinsed it. I used some Dawn for the finale clean. I got the flush valve kit with Flange for around 50 bucks from a Local RV dealer. I used Vaseline on the Gasket/Blade
It took longer to clean than installing the kit... That was 4 years ago.
The seat just broke last trip out(Got my roll of Duck Tape out) I have one priced out for $28.00.
I'm still under the price of a new one, by almost 1/2.
I would keep the old one if you are happy with the way it looks and the height is okay. I like original also. She still has everything that the factory installed, except the Stereo (that's another topic). Good Luck and tell us what you end up doing.
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